A federal jury convicted a Dripping Springs man Tuesday following accusations he threatened to go to Fort Hood, murder a sergeant, take hostages and then embark on a mass killing spree.
Thomas Anthony Chestnut, Jr., 29, was found guilty of one count of threatening to assault or murder a uniformed service member, along with one count of interstate communications with threat to injure.
Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents on Feb. 24. He will now face up to 10 years in federal prison on the threat charge and up to five more years on the interstate communications charge.
Prosecutors argued Chestnut threatened his attack on Fort Hood during a call with a 1st Cavalry Division sergeant. He said he would carry out the attack if he was not allowed to speak with someone of rank, according to testimony given at trial.
At the time, Chestnut was transferred to a major and claimed he was owed back pay, prosecutors said. Chestnut told the major if he could not be transferred to a III Corps Commander or Sergeant Major regarding the alleged back pay, he planned to begin shooting soldiers on post, according to the testimony presented at trial.
"Threats of this nature are taken seriously," U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. said in a press release.
The trial lasted just two days.
U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman is scheduled to sentence Chestnut in Waco on Dec. 1.
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